The nationalized Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan started afresh Wednesday with a new board of directors appointed by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi.

Takashi Anzai, a former executive director at the Bank of Japan, was formally elected president from a seven-member board after the government-backed Deposit Insurance Corp., the LTCB’s lone shareholder, endorsed Obuchi’s personnel appointments. The new board will try to reconstruct the bank’s business, clean up its assets, point out possible misconduct by its former management and sell it to another bank as soon as possible.

“It is going to be a huge task for us to make the bank attractive so that someone will want to buy it,” Anzai told a news conference. “The most important thing for me is to unify the employees and work with them in solidarity,” he said nervously, sitting with three other executives before dozens of reporters and photographers.

Hidebumi Mori, an LTCB official, and Makoto Kikkawa, from the Industrial Bank of Japan, were elected vice presidents. Fumio Obata, from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, became executive managing director. The other three directors consist of two senior officials from the LTCB and one from the BOJ. The LTCB’s former directors and auditors, including President Tsuneo Suzuki, resigned the same day.

Three auditors were also appointed — one from within the bank, one private attorney and a certified public accountant. More staff may be added if the new board members consider it necessary to smoothly carry out their job, Finance Reconstruction Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa indicated.

The new management will first have to map out a plan for the bank’s operations, then seek the government’s approval. Anzai said it will re-examine the bank’s operations, keep what is considered valuable and discard what is determined wasteful.

Its bad assets will be sold to a Japanese version of the U.S. Resolution Trust Corp (the government will decide on standards for separating bad loans by the end of the year, Yanagisawa has indicated).

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